By Nolan Alexander
This week the Slaton Tigers traveled to Antelope Stadium in Abernathy for their second regular season game. The Tigers were looking to bounce back off of a 29-8 loss to Snyder.
Instead, Slaton lost to the Antelopes 46-8 Friday evening (Sept. 3).
In the first quarter, Abernathy scored on a five-yard passing touchdown, followed by another 58-yard passing touchdown making the score 14-0.
The first quarter wrapped up with another Abernathy four-yard rushing touchdown making the score 21-0.
When the second quarter started, Abernathy scored the first touchdown by a 34-yard pass, missing the extra point.
Slaton responded with a one-yard run by starting quarterback Ayden Ramirez, followed by a successful two-point conversion run attempt by Eli Perez.
Abernathy was able to find the end zone yet again late in the second quarter with a 29-yard run making the score 34-8 going into halftime.
Slaton began struggling in the third quarter, seeing an 11-yard passing touchdown by Abernathy, with a failed two-point conversion running attempt. The Tigers were not able to find the end zone in the third quarter, making the score 40-8 end of third.
In the fourth quarter, Slaton again was not able to earn another touchdown but Abernathy continued their scoring runs, scoring once again with a 15-yard rushing touchdown and yet another failed two-point rushing attempt.
Head Coach Lawrence Johnson said takeaways from the game were pretty simple.
“We need to prepare for New Deal by focusing on our assignments on both sides of the ball,” he said.
One thing that stood out for the Tigers was their two-point conversion defense with an astonishing 66 percent win rate on Abernathy possessions.
Johnson said that they practice special teams daily and take it very seriously.
“There is always room for improvement in our preparation for New Deal.” Johnson said.
After a tough loss it is hard to rally the team back into shape and be prepared for next week’s matchup. Johnson said there is a point of emphasis to create an identity on both sides of the ball. “We can’t allow big plays,” Johnson said. “We have to constantly execute.”
There are only three games left in regular season, then a bye before District and time is running out to fine tune the mistakes. Although the offense, defense and special teams have been in a bit of a slump but Lawrence has some practical advice for his players and fans.
“All three phases have to be polished up with each game leading up to District,” Johnson said.
Leading rushers for Slaton were CJ Anzley with 18 carries for 74 yards and Ayden Ramirez with five carries for nine yards. The Slaton passers consisted of Eli Perez and Ayden Ramirez combining for a total of five of 11 for 53 yards at 45 percent pass completion. The Slaton receivers consisted of D’Marcus Trotty with one catch for 15 yards, Braden Brown with one catch for 12 yards, CJ Anzley with two catches for 11 yards and John Bernal with one catch for 15 yards.
The Tigers come back home to Tiger Stadium to face New Deal on Friday (Sept. 10) at 7:30 p.m.